Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE OF ESKIMO

The ability of the Eskimo to adapt successfully to a cold and harsh environment depended on a highly inventive material culture (Clothing sewn from skins, the toggle harpoon fashioned from ivory or antler and fitted with stone blades, the well known igloo, or snow house) and particular values and psychological traits. Broad cultural values stressed the importance and excitement of hunting. Courage and hardihood were emphasized in the training of young Eskimo, as was a strong sense of fatalism.

Settlement .

Settlement pattern varied according to the location, the time of year, subsistence opportunities. Permanent village of stone houses existed in Greenland and Alaska; along the Siberian shore village were made up of houses composed of driftwood and earth. In the central areas there were no such settled communities, although a given group might well return to the same fishing or hunting site year after year.

In all Eskimo areas an annual cycle took place in which group spent the winter together in which a larger settlement and then dispersed into smaller, family-sized bands during the summer for seal hunting, for fishing, or for collecting birds, eggs, and plants.

The Igloo (From the Eskimo word meaning ‘home’) was constructed of packed snow and used only during of winter, when villages of these structures were built on the fiorm ocean ice to facilitate seal hunting. Igloo were also used as temporary structures in Greenland and in parts of Canada and Alaska.

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